WASHINGTON, April 22 (UPI) -- Earth Day is a day to appreciate Mother Nature's contributions to keeping us healthy, a U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said.
"At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we work to create and maintain a healthy environment, while recognizing that the true resources for staying healthy are not government initiatives at all. They are nearby natural parks and hiking trails that you can walk or jog through, or a body of water perfect for kayaking or swimming," Sebelius said in a statement.
"Doing what is good for the planet is good for our health. Conserving energy and water, choosing healthy or locally grown foods, walking and biking instead of driving and recycling are some of the best things we can do for our health and the health of those around us. These simple, green activities can reduce the risk of health issues like asthma or even cancer."
A healthy planet can also help us fight another serious health issue our country is facing -- obesity, Sebelius said.
"Take a deep breath of fresh air and enjoy the many gifts of our planet," Sebelius said. "Earth Day reminds us that being a healthy nation requires going beyond our clinical resources -- it starts with a healthy environment."